This chapter is taken from The Silent Power – Selections from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine
“Sri Ramana Maharshi has kept India’s spiritual glory alive in our generation. He has in his own way made the name of India respected by wise and enlightened men spread all over the world…….”
Thus spoke Sri C. Rajagopalachari when declaring open the Pathala Lingam Shrine, once the abode of Sri Ramana Maharshi.
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi encapsulated the whole of the Vedas and Upanishads into a simple formula — his famous ‘Who am I?’ enquiry. He was too humble to claim any originality for this. Such enquiry goes beyond the realm of seemingly impenetrable mysteries. But by the grace of Sri Ramana his followers unmistakably reach the goal.
During the period of his illness Sri Maharshi appeared visibly unaffected in spite of the ailment which gave him excruciating pain. The doctors and other devotees were baffled by the utmost unconcern demonstrated by Sri Maharshi for the cruel ailment. The total detachment with which he looked on his suffering body was unique. By this he demonstrated practically for our benefit that only the body suffers and the Atman (Self ) has no share in it.
His radiant face did not show even the least trace of pain. In fact his eyes sparkled with more divine brilliance than usual. Despite the pain he was rigidly attending to his daily routine, like going to the bathroom, attending to important letters, etc., without deviating from his characteristic punctuality. “Let the disease run its course and let the body suffer, but I am ever immersed in unbroken Bliss” — such was his attitude.
“A man established in the Self is liberated while in the body, the fate of the body does not matter”: this is the Vedic truth. Sri Ramana had entirely forgotten all consciousness about his occupancy in the human frame and automatically the authorship had no existence at all. He was full of bliss indicating exuberance. The following episode, which occurred during the same period was a thrilling sight to witness.
An old teacher of Sri Bhagavan came to see him. He was 87 and very feeble. Nevertheless an overmastering desire to see the God-man whom he had once taught in second form, urged him on to Tiruvannamalai. In Bhagavan’s presence, he recalled an incident from that time with great emotion. Once he had asked young Venkataraman to stand up on the bench for a minor misdemeanour. But Venkataraman gazed at him for a while with such steadiness and power that his (teacher’s) will withered rapidly and he reversed his decision.
It was a touching sight to see the old teacher meet his Seer- pupil. Then the teacher asked Sri Bhagavan whether he recognised him. Sri Bhagavan smiled broadly and graciously and answered: “Why not?” The teacher was visibly moved at this and he again asked Bhagavan about his health. Sri Bhagavan replied that he was feeling all right. Throughout this very moving but short interview Maharshi displayed such graciousness and cordiality that neither the old teacher nor those who were close by felt that there was anything wrong with the Maharshi.
These things make us feel that Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is a perfect divine incarnation, whose divine excellence was lying dormant till he left his home.